What left this?

Hello , 

What left this gift on my bicycle cover tarp?

It's about 3cm sort of globular, seems to contain bits of seed husks plant stalks etc.

Soft inside, mushy and greeny brown.

I thought it looked more mammalian than bird but any mammal would have a hard time getting on top

of the slippery tarp where this was left.



Thanks for any ideas.


  • That looks to me like an bird pellet, or more commonly known as an owl pellet.

    When owls and other birds of prey catch small rodents to eat, they cannot digest the bones, fur and a few other bits. So they basically swallow the small rodent, and their digestive system sorts out the meat and then they regurgitate the rest as a combined fluff and bone ball, call a pellet.

    Which bird of prey, I've no idea, but I'm sure someone may be able to identify.


    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • Ditto Mike's answer. Looks like a pellet (and even some non-raptors will chuck them out).

    At first sight I'd say neither Barn nor Tawny Owl.

    The answer's probably in what's inside, Andy.

    So, reserve a spot in the fridge, gloves on, and out with the tweezers...


  • It's not just birds of prey that produce pellets - most birds do, though they're not always as recognisable. The owl or raptor pellets I've seen tend to have visible bones and hair in them, so if it's full of seeds and plant stalks, it could be from something more herbivorous. I vote you dissect it!
  • Thanks for the replies.
    I am quite familiar with bird of prey pellets and it's certainly not that. Owl pellets etc are ovoid and regular in shape, this is a roundish dollop of something. Bird of prey pellets are dry and crumbly with bits of bone/ hair being visible this thing has the texture of wet sheep poo with what looks like undigested plant remains, it's also greeny brown inside , more green than brown which suggests again poorly digested plant remains.
    So the mystery remains?
  • In reply to slugface:

    Hmmm... Yes, for me at least the mystery remains, Andy.

    I'd have suggested fox stools (I've had ones mainly composed of earth, when foxes have been digging up earthworms, and I've found that fox stools can be extremely irregular/varied), but not, obviously, where you found them.